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La Posada Sin Fronteras: Faith, Ritual and Raza for Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Genelle Gaudinez, Hector Lara, Billie.

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Presentation on theme: "La Posada Sin Fronteras: Faith, Ritual and Raza for Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Genelle Gaudinez, Hector Lara, Billie."— Presentation transcript:

1 La Posada Sin Fronteras: Faith, Ritual and Raza for Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Genelle Gaudinez, Hector Lara, Billie C. Ortiz Department of Sociology University of Southern California

2 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) Employer Sanctions Amnesty Legalization (and SAWs) $$ for Border Patrol 1994 Proposition 187 (California) Remove access to public education and health care services for Undoc. immigrants and their children, including U.S. citizen children 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act Restricts public services for legal permanent resident immigrants Limits legal immigrant sponsors Expands criminal alien enforcement, and definition of “criminal alien” Expands $$ for Border Patrol and border enforcement Calls for hiring more than 1000 Border Patrol agents a year (w/target of 10,000 by 2001)


4 “When Mary and Joseph left Bethlehem to return to Nazareth to raise their child, they crossed borders as undocumented refugees. They fled to Egypt, then returned to Nazareth. They were at risk, and their child was at risk. In her arms, Mary cradled the savior of the world. She held our hope. She held the Light in all its vulnerability. They could have died crossing borders as others have died….I pray that we will be people of hospitality and welcome.” --Bishop Swenson




8 “Las Posadas del Barrio” song lyrics adapted by Rosa Martha Zarate En el nombre de la justiciaIn the name of justice Busco apoyo solidarioI am looking for some help Cruce la linea de nocheI crossed the border at night Ando de indocumentado/aAnd I don’t have papers yet

9 No vengas con tu miseriaDon’t come to me with your poverty Ni vengas a molestarDon’t come here bother me Te voy a echar la migraI am going to call the Migra Pa’ que te mande a volarAnd get you out of here quick Paisana/o soy de tu tierraHey, countryman,I’m from your land Como tu vine a buscarAs you did, I came to look Con mi familia el trabajoFor work to support my family Mira mi necessidadNotice how needy we are

10 No me interesa quien seasI don’t care who you are Deja ya de mendigarSo stop your begging Yo ya soy cuidadana(o) I am a citizen already Y te voy a reportarAnd I’m going to report you The song continues until a third voice enters with this: Ya no les siga rogandoDo not beg them anymore Venga a la comunidadCome with us to our community Donde juntos trabajamosWhere we all work together Por justicia y dignidadFor justice and dignity…..

11 Final stanza: Vamos juntos como PuebloLet us go together, as People Como hermanos/asAs brothers Vamos todos a sembrarLet us go to sow justice La justicia que en el That in the barrio, in the barrio como estrella barrio Brillara Will shine as a star


13 I’m a Catholic Christian and, um, I believe in inclusivity. I believe all people are equal in worth as a human being. And I don’t like the idea of refugees not being able to come into our country. (older white woman) I am a Christian…..we’re all, I guess, illegal here in some way, so we want to be together. (middle-aged white woman accompanied by four children)

14 It’s directly motivated by our commitment to find what it means to be Christian--um, my commitment to find what it means to be Christian in the context of, you know, gross disparities in income and in the context of racism…..What does it mean to be Christian? I think part of what it means to be Christian is to, um, cross borders that normally aren’t crossed intentionally and with the intention of being reconciled. So I think those are deeply Christian themes.(yg white man)

15 I just feel compelled by the dictates of my religion, which is Christian, to, uh, help these people. (I believe in) this injunction in the Bible such as, ‘Remember you were an alien yourself in Egypt.’ And, uh, you have to help the aliens. This is spread out throughout the, the, uh, Bible. And, uh, I feel just, uh, a duty, really, a religious duty to try to ease the burden of some of these people….. I do what I can to try and help. (middle-aged white man)

16 I visited a water tank a couple weeks ago in the Arizona desert and I talked to more immigrants, and helped them make contact through the use of the cell phone…..I was embraced with tears and great gratitude. It was a very tender moment. The struggle in the desert is to be humbled. It is just horrific. It is so shameful there. Tax dollars are going to that. Just to meet someone who is walking to cross the desert is a very poignant moment, so it is very special to be here. (middle aged white man)


18 La Posada is something that is traditional within the Mexican/Latino culture. But it has a special meaning……How do we look at, at people that are different? What are the barriers that we put? Like Joseph and Mary, they were denied lodging, love and acceptance because they were poor. Because of the way they looked, and they were from another country, another area. Border stuff…what it does is destroy…. I bring my children because I want to teach them as well. (Mexican American woman)

19 (It’s) related with Mexico…like exactly what the Bible says---One people, one land. And I wanna experience that you know. I want to feel that.…. I was born in Mexico…. you know I used to see my dad crossing the border and all I (could)see was a border between you know, my dad and I. (young Latino man)

20 “Vengo apoyar a mis hermanos paisanos aqui en esta Posada….I come to support my fellow countrymen in this Posada. It means a lot for me to be participating in this. There are many people who cannot cross and they cannot be seen. There are also those who can’t leave (the U.S.) and this is an opportunity for us to see each other. We can greet each other and seek shelter ….Apart from their families! So now this border divides us, but it’s only a fence. But with the Christmas spirit and heart, we are paisanos and that’s why we are here supporting them. (young Mexican woman)

21 I think for me also as a Catholic, and being a Hispanic myself, this is just a way for me to maintain that connection with, my native land…. I think the unity for me is what brings me to it every time. (young Latino man)


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